House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said he will consider an “impeachment inquiry” into the foreign-money corruption allegations involving President Biden and his son Hunter if the president stonewalls congressional investigators, but the speaker insisted the effort would not be political.
“If a department in government, just like the Richard Nixon years, denies the ability to get the information we’re asking, that would rise to impeachment inquiry,” Mr. McCarthy told reporters in the Capitol on Tuesday.
Mr. McCarthy’s comments come amid mounting allegations that President Biden had knowledge and perhaps involvement in his family’s foreign business deals and partook in the millions of dollars in payments they received dating back to his time as vice president.
The speaker told reporters that Democrats impeached President Trump for political purposes but promised he would act apolitically if the House were to launch an investigation of Mr. Biden, who has denied having any knowledge or involvement in his family’s business schemes.
An impeachment inquiry, Mr. McCarthy said, “is not impeachment,” but would provide Congress with the power to obtain information.
“I wouldn’t know why anybody else wouldn’t want that,” said Mr. McCarthy, California Republican.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre declined to comment on the House’s looming impeachment inquiry.
“I’m not going to get into hypotheticals,” she said. “They can do whatever it is they wish to do, but we are going to stay steady and stay steadfast.”
While Republicans on Mr. McCarthy’s right flank in the House Freedom Caucus have long supported articles of impeachment against Mr. Biden, impeachment, or at least an impeachment inquiry, is now gaining traction with others in the House Republican Conference.
“Impeach Biden for the crimes! Impeach Garland for the coverup!” tweeted Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana.
Rep. Nick Langworthy, of New York, told The Washington Times that there is more evidence to open an impeachment inquiry into Mr. Biden than there was in 2019 when the Democrats impeached Mr. Trump over a phone call to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. In the call, Mr. Trump asked Mr. Zelensky to investigate Mr. Biden’s efforts as vice president to oust Ukraine General Prosecutor Viktor Shokin. Mr. Shokin was probing corruption charges against the energy firm Burisma, which was paying Hunter Biden up to $1 million a year to serve on its board.
A paid informant told the FBI that Burisma CEO Mykola Zlochevsky said he was pushed into providing a $10 million bribe, split between then-Vice President Biden and his son Hunter, to oust Mr. Shokin.
The informant’s claim, recently revealed in a long-buried FBI memo, has elevated impeachment talk among House Republicans.
“An impeachment inquiry allows a lot more detail to come to the Congress, it certainly forces stronger subpoenas and it has to be on the table,” Mr. Langworthy said, adding that he is “not one that uses the term impeachment lightly.”
Mr. Langworthy said evidence is mounting against the president.
“At this point, we need to fill in the gaps,” he said. “The American people need to understand and know if the president is compromised by foreign agents.”
Rep. Beth Van Duyn of Texas told The Times she believes enough evidence has surfaced to support launching an impeachment inquiry.
“Under the Trump hearings, there were accusations that were made that were never proven,” she said. “Under the Biden investigations, we have so much … materials to prove the allegations were correct.”
Evidence is piling up showing Mr. Biden was involved in his family’s shady foreign deals and testimony expected this month from a former associate could make it harder for the Biden’s to refute accusations of influence peddling and bribery.
Former Biden family business associate Devon Archer is slated to testify Monday before House investigators.
Mr. Archer, 48, is a key witness. Congressional investigators say he arranged lucrative roles on the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma for himself and Hunter Biden.
Through his company Rosemont Seneca Bohai, Mr. Archer accepted $3.5 million in wire transfers from Burisma from 2014 to 2016 and sent more than $700,000 to three of Hunter Biden’s bank accounts, investigators say.
Sen. Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican, last week released an FBI informant’s testimony saying Burisma paid Hunter Biden to “protect us through his dad, from all kinds of problems” as it sought to buy a U.S. oil and gas company.
Mr. Archer also may have some of the most direct knowledge of any American witness of the president’s involvement in ending a corruption investigation that was dogging Burisma and preventing its entry into the U.S. energy industry.
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